WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to weigh in on a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court expressing that the nation’s highest court has not made clear whether the “spouses” of homosexual government workers are entitled to benefits.
The nine justices denied the appeal of Turner v. Pidgeon without comment on Monday, along with dozens of other petitions for certiorari from across the country.
“We are very excited about our win today in front of the United States Supreme Court. The court decision confirms that the Texas Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision reversing the Court of Appeals was correct,” attorney Jared Woodfill said in a statement.
As previously reported, in 2013, Houston Mayor Annise Parker issued an order that required the city to provide benefits to homosexual city workers “legally married” out-of-state as same-sex nuptials were illegal in Texas at the time.
The following month, a pastor and an accountant filed suit against the city, stating that Parker’s order violated the Houston city charter, the Texas Defense of Marriage Act and the state Constitution.
State Judge Lisa Millard granted an injunction against Parker, but the city moved the legal challenge to federal court, resulting in the injunction becoming moot. However, the federal court moved the suit back to the state on jurisdictional grounds.
Following the 2015 Supreme Court ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges, an appeals court lifted the injunction and plaintiffs Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks took the matter to the state Supreme Court. The court declined to hear the appeal
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